JPS Health Network appoints Kristin Sullivan as foundation executive director

JPS Health Network announced Sept. 5 that Kristin N. Sullivan, most recently the founding executive director of Read Fort Worth, has been appointed as executive director of the JPS Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Tarrant County’s public healthcare system.

The announcement came on the day that Anel Mercado, former director of programs at Arizona Center for Youth Services, was to officially replace Sullivan at Read Fort Worth.

Sullivan will lead the team charged with securing gifts, goods and grants to advance JPS excellence and help improve the health of the families served by the network. Her first day will be Sept. 17. She will report to the senior JPS executive team and the foundation’s nine-member board of directors, led by Westlake Mayor Laura Wheat.

“Kristin’s extensive knowledge of Tarrant County, its leaders and institutions will enable her to build on the past success of the JPS Foundation,” Robert Earley, president and CEO of JPS Health Network, said in announcing her appointment. “We are thrilled to have her join our team and look forward to shaping an even brighter future for the foundation and JPS.

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Sullivan has extensive experience in strategic communications and nonprofit management in a variety of roles across Tarrant County institutions.

Prior to the position with Read Fort Worth – founded to assure that all third graders in the Fort Worth school district would be reading at grade level by 2025 – Sullivan served in senior communications roles and ultimately as an associate vice president at the University of Texas at Arlington from 2008 until 2016.

UTA saw record philanthropic, research and enrollment growth during that period.

Prior to joining UT Arlington, Sullivan served as an assistant managing editor and longtime editor and reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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“She joins JPS during a period of remarkable growth as the healthcare system invests strategically in core facilities, regional health centers, mental and behavioral health and cancer care and its role as a teaching hospital that prepares future physicians and other providers to serve the community,” JPS said in the announcement.

Sullivan earned degrees in political science and journalism from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She and her husband, Mitch Whitten, executive vice president for marketing and strategy at Visit Fort Worth, have two sons.

Mercado’s appointment was announced earlier. She was director of Phoenix-based Thriving Together, a multifaceted partnership to bring together different sectors of the community to strive for better results in education, a news release by Read Fort Worth said.

Matt Rose, executive chairman of BNSF Railway, serves as chairman of Read Fort Worth’s 11-member executive committee.

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“We are looking forward to the energy and experience that Anel Mercado will bring to Read Fort Worth,” Rose said in making Mercado’s announcement, “and are truly grateful to Kristin Sullivan for her hard work and dedication that was essential to get us where we are now, poised for continued growth and success.”

Includes material from Business Press archives

– FWBP Staff